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The Sea Monster, The Water Snake

Constellation FamilyHercules
Celestial QuadrantsPrimarily SQ2 and SQ3, extending into NQ2
Right Ascension8h13m to 15h04m
Declination-11°45' to +8°23'
Area (sq deg)1,303
Brightest StarAlphard
Optimum VisibilityFebruary to May
NotesFrom the group of six stars that form the Sea Monster's head, the long sinuous shape of Hydra extends eastward for nearly seven hours of right ascension across the celestial sphere, making it the larges of all eighty-eight constellations by area.
Map of Hydra (Western Section) Map of Hydra (Western Section)
Map of Hydra (Eastern Section) Map of Hydra (Eastern Section)
Relative Galactic Position of Hydra

The giant constellation Hydra occupies a significant portion of the sky, lying to the north of the galactic plane.

A gigantic constellation, the largest in the sky, covering more than 1,300 square degrees. Despite its huge size, however, it contains little in the way of bright stars or other objects of interest. The main exception to this are the planetary nebula known as the Ghost of Jupiter and M83, known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy.


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